cover image Silent City

Silent City

Sarah Davis-Goff. Flatiron, $27.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-250-26262-2

Davis-Goff’s eloquent sequel to 2019’s Last Ones Left Alive revisits her innovative take on the zombie trope. In a postapocalyptic Ireland, 14-year-old Orpen is rescued from the skrakes—creatures whose humanity has been “flayed away till there’s nothing left but mouth and teeth and slug-proboscis-tongue”—by the banshees, a league of black-clad female warriors whose superior combat skills enable them to fend off skrake attacks. Flash-forward six years, and Orpen is now a banshee herself, living in Phoenix City, a stronghold of survivors with high walls to keep out the skrakes. She’s proud of her warrior status, but as a series of attacks sweep the city, she begins to question the morality of the regime she serves. Davis-Goff elevates a familiar plot with vivid prose (the abandoned city of Dublin is described as resembling “a crust on the green skin of Ireland, a scab flaking slowly away”) and emotionally resonant characterization. Horror fans looking for more than jump-scares will find it here. (Oct.)